Comments made by B'nai B'rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin were featured in a Jerusalem Post article on the unchecked rise of anti-Semitism in Venezuela.
The Venezuelan Jewish community has endured increasing political scrutiny and acts of anti-Semitism since the rise to power of Hugo Chavez in 1998, and continuing with the current Nicolas Maduro regime. B'nai B'rith has consistently advocated Venezuelan officials for greater political protection.
Read highlights from the Jerusalem Post article, below:
Last Tuesday a swastika and the number 6,000,000 with a question mark next to it were found scrawled on a wall across from Caracas’s AIV del Este Sephardic synagogue, eliciting strong condemnations.
“The government has shown no willingness [and] no commitment to really addressing this kind of problem,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel Mariaschin.
Venezuelan authorities have declined to apply existing anti-discrimination legislation to anti-Semitic incidents he asserted, stating that the west should point a finger at the Latin American country.
Both the government of the late Hugo Chavez, who ruled the country from 1998 until his death in 2013, and that of his successor Nicolas Maduro have either looked the other way or have allowed “anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic acts to occur and not to be addressed properly,” Mariaschin said.
Following Chavez’s death last March, Jewish leaders around the world announced that they would be closely monitoring the country’s political transition and expressed concern for the future of the local Jewish community.
The maps label Gaza and the West Bank but do not demarcate Israel, instead depicting Jordan and Syria as extending all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.
“HarperCollins regrets the omission of the name Israel from their Collins Middle East Atlas,” the publishing company said. “This product has now been removed from sale in all territories and all remaining stock will be pulped. HarperCollins sincerely apologizes for this omission and for any offense caused.”
“The willful error was exacerbated by the initial tone-deaf defense by HarperCollins of its decision. … Does the publisher’s acquiescence to ‘local preferences’ take into account that many of Israel’s neighbors have the singular goal of destroying Israel and its people?” B’nai B’rith International said in a statement.
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